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 Roadcraft-Advanced Riding
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4260 Posts

Meridian, Idaho


Sportster Sport

Posted - 03/02/2010 :  8:45 PM                       Like
I saw this link from Young Dai over at Moonrider Redux and found it to be an excellent topic for discussion. Read it it and see how you feel about it. Do you thing that this type of training would be effective and well received in the USA?


I found this link on the comments section of this essay.

Young Dai
Male Junior Member
67 Posts

Southend, Essex
United Kingdom



Posted - 03/05/2010 :  6:14 PM
As I have been outed, I will add some additional comments and links to web resources.

Dave Brook is a former police motorcyclist and an Observer for his local IAM (Institute of Advanced Motoring) group as well as an regional examiner traineers taking the IAM and RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) tests.

There is no difference in the application of the System between the two organisations, simply adminstrative differences in their fee structures and how the test is marked. IAM mark you Satisfactory or Not to the Expected Standard, RoSPA offer three different standards of pass (Gold, Silver and Bronze).

At this point if it gets on anyone's nerves for me to use the phrase 'Advanced Rider', as this has a lot of baggage I am happy to use 'Considered Rider' instead.

All riders have to possess a full M/C licence and a bike that can achive UK speed limits (70 mph on dual carriage ways, 60 on single carriage ways. A learner (Associate) will be teamed up with an single Observer and they will go out and ride, typically for around 5 or 6 3 hour sessions, with breaks and de-briefs for weekends or evenings as availible for a couple of months. I couldn't affort the time to do it this way, so I took one of the commericially offered intensive course over 4 days.

The associate will also be expected to know his (or her) Highway Code and Roadcraft books.

The Observed riding test on the road, lasts around 45 minutes, typically 15-20 miles, then a theory session on Highway Code questions at the end.

Because you already hold a full endorsement, this doesn't give you any right to ride faster or larger bikes. Their are some insurance savings you can latch into, but the general idea is to improve or survival rate and additionally you get to meet and ride with like minded and safe riders, no B2B here !

Roadcraft was written as a training aid for police drivers and Riders, so even its greatest fans would not describe the current book as a great read. (And this is the most user friendly one yet !)

The IAM staff examiners have therefore produced the modestly titled ;'How to be a better motorcyclist.' With a much more accessible format.

I don't know if it is on Amazon, but here is a link to the shopping page on the IAM web-site.

(I didn't write it, nor do I get any benefit if you buy or not in case anyone is worried, but it is a bit cheaper than Roadcraft and as I say and easier read than Roadcraft book.)

Finally I see that posting Roadcraft video's means you should expect to defend the riding shown.

Therefore this clip has recently been taken from a riding DVD produced by the UK Highways Agency : http://www.public.tv/channel.php?gr...F4-C6GO-YVU5

This is about 10 years newer than the 'Thames Valley' clip that Nigel posted, and shows how Roadcraft continues to evolve, so that the use of off-siding for left hand bends that attracted so much comment on this forum has has been removed as a civillian technique.

In any event Roadcraft is ulitimately a riding strategy to keep you moving with the least risk. If certain UK techniques/responses are inappropriate or illegal in US conditions, there is no reason why they should be applied.

The 'commentary' ride is a technique that came across from the car side, so you show what you have seen, and how you are going to react to it. It seems easy, but is incredibly hard at to speak, think and ride smoothly all at the same time. I've never managed more than 3 minutes before my mind backed up and my mouth ran off like a teleprinter with a stutter !

When he talks of 'Sacrifice' that means he is moving off the line that gives the maximum view, because of oncoming traffic or other reasons like road debris, in order to maintain the rider safety. As that happens it also likely he would come off the throttle slightly as well : The mantra being "Loose the view - loose the speed".

In the in-town section (Minutes 4 -6.40), it is all throttle control, requiring the rider to be in the 'responsive gear (1st and 2nd at those speeds). Count how many times the brake light comes on, yet his speed varies constantly. This is also much smoother if you have a pillion and it maxs the grip budget.

Although he is lucky with the traffic lights and pedestrian crossings etc, he keeps the bike moving all the time. Again it is smoother and easier to move off from 1 or 2 mph than from a dead stop. And even at those very low speeds, his feet are on the pegs all the time, balanced on the throttle, back brake and clutch. Ride like a Pro indeed.

I would say though, that I was taught that a motorcycle is a poor choice of vehicle to play 'be nice' with and to let out cars from side roads, you do put yourself at risk doing so. Therefore I would have considered a horn sound to try and freeze the car in its movement. But that could have been a put up job to show him doing the 'I am Slowing down' hand signal.

It is also possible to argue that unless he had a very good view into parked cars around 4.51 he was too close, in case there was a suddenly swinging door.

For the second row of cars aound 6.00 the rider takes a wider line over into the opposite carriage way. That way he was able to avoid the car that turns out around 6.10, although it caught him by suprise.

It has now gone midnight in the Uk so I am away to my bed. I hope this is useful to you
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Male Advanced Member
2273 Posts

colorado springs, co


CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 03/07/2010 :  2:11 AM


Thanks for posting the link to Brook.

I'm perusing it and finding that beyond enjoying other sources within the topic of safety, it's especially helpful for me to see similar points expressed differently.
Some of the stuff in the UK uses less to say more. Other times, just the difference in word choices 'click' better with me.

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